People have begun to invest in their health and wellness - especially in practices that boost the immune system - more than ever. And, one movement practice that has grown in popularity is the rebounder, aka the mini-trampoline. Those of you who have been part of the Aligned Life for some time know how much I love the rebounder as a tool for getting things moving and grooving. And, you might even have one yourself. Jumping on a mini-trampoline is not only a super fun way to get your sweat on, but it’s also incredibly beneficial for overall well-being and, even better, those benefits are anchored in science.
Also considered a holistic wellness tool, the mini-trampoline has been around since the late 1930s but didn’t gain popularity until the 1980s when NASA decided to study the benefits of rebounding. At that time, they were looking for the best workout for astronauts who were spending time in Outer Space. When you’re in space, you don’t have gravity and, when you don’t have gravity, you begin to lose bone density and muscle mass because you are literally floating around. Gravity makes us work and helps promote regeneration in the body, so being in an anti-gravity environment can take a toll on the body. With this in mind, NASA researched the effects of rebounding and found that jumping on a mini-trampoline provides the body with benefits on a cellular level, and at an increased rate compared to more familiar forms of exercise. The reason for this is, when you are jumping on a rebounder, the systems in your body are being asked to work harder because there is so much going on with the movement.
These studies by NASA were conducted to find a healthy way for astronauts to recover the loss of bone and muscle mass after going into space, which is why there is a lot more research on the benefits beyond how many calories you burn while jumping up and down. Through their research, NASA found that jumping on a rebounder increases G-Force during the exercise and also increases lymphocyte — aka, the lymphatic system — activity, which is great because the lymph system needs a little help to get things moving. As a result, rebounding was found to strengthen the immune system and help with detoxification. But, when it comes to rebounding benefits, that is just the beginning. In addition to boosting the immune system and helping to flush the lymphatic system, jumping on a rebounder has many other benefits backed by science.
Up ahead, I share the top 10 scientifically-proven benefits of rebounding on a mini-trampoline.
1. Rebounding Rebalances the Nervous System
Bounding on a mini-trampoline does wonders for our nervous system by helping to get us out of feelings of fight or flight. Rebalancing the nervous system is so important, especially in the world we are living in, because so many of us are stressed out. And, that is the number two risk factor in getting Covid-19 or coming down with other viruses as stress attacks the immune system.
2. Improves Bone Density
Because astronauts lose bone density in space, this was an important part of NASA’s research. They found that rebounding actually can affect the skeletal system and improve bone density. As we age, we tend to lose bone density — but there are ways, such as lifting weight and jumping on a mini-trampoline, to increase bone density. Rebounding can also support bone formation and decrease bone reabsorption because bouncing puts small amounts of pressure on the bones, which helps them grow stronger. The beauty of it is, even though it does put pressure on the body, it’s still low impact, so you can do it at any age — even into your 90s.
3. Regulates Our Hormones
Another system rebounding impacts is the Endocrine system. This system is responsible for regulating hormones and is bossed by our nervous system. When the nervous system is happy, our Endocrine system is happy and we can better flush the hormones we no longer need. This can make a difference across the board and help with sleep patterns and even bloating.
4. Flushes the Lymphatic System
Jumping up and down on a trampoline — even if it’s a light, gentle bounce — can benefit the lymphatic system as the movements help the body flush out toxins, bacteria, dead cells, and other waste products while allowing the body to regenerate new cells.
5. Strengthens the Pelvic Floor
Rebounding can actually tone the pelvic floor by working the muscles in the deep core. The key here is to start out slow and gentle as even the act of standing on the rebounder and twisting your body from side to side can help with the pelvic floor. Of course, if you have any pelvic floor concerns, including a prolapsed uterus, it is a good idea to get cleared by your doctor before giving the mini-trampoline a try.
6. Improves Balance and Coordination
Rebounding is also great for balance, coordination, and even motor skills. It affects the brain-body connection and allows your body to have a better grasp of where you are in terms of space and gravity. This is actually something we lose when we age because of how much time we spend sitting. By improving balance and coordination, we are able to better prevent older age degenerative diseases and keep ourselves present and on our toes.
7. Supports Endurance
If you’re looking for a way to increase endurance, try adding rebounding to your other workouts. Jumping up and down helps increase endurance and can help the body recover faster since you are giving your cells a little massage while going through the motions.
8. Strengthens the Core
As with any other workout, exercising on a rebounder can strengthen your core. However, because everything is connected energetically and through the webbing of the fascia, you are able to strengthen your core in a more three-dimensional way. When you are jumping, you are creating strength with that G-Force. You’re coming up in the air and then, as you come down, that’s where the force is being pushed and that is where you are going to create the tone and regenerate the tissues. In addition to the core, rebounding also strengthens the legs, glutes, inner thighs, and feet.
9. Improves Digestion, Elimination, and Food Absorption
Another area of the body that benefits from rebounding is our digestion — as well as our elimination and ability to absorb food. What happens when we bounce is our organs move up and down, so it gives them a little shower. The organs are also wrapped in fascia, so if our fascia is thick and dense, it will glue the organs together. When we do cross-lateral movements, we are able to ring out the organs to promote better function of the digestion system. And, it also helps us feel more connected to our bodies and our gut instinct.
10. Increases Lung Capacity
Rebounding also increases lung capacity because of how much it benefits the diaphragm muscle when we jump. That muscle is responsible for how much oxygen we take in to feed our bodies and how much CO2 we release. Just like the organs, when we bounce, it massages the diaphragm and helps you bring awareness to breathing more three dimensionally, which helps increase lung capacity.
11. Helps Us Sleep Better
With all of the ways it benefits our health, it’s no wonder that rebounding can also promote a better night’s sleep. In addition to these health benefits, the act of jumping up and down on a rebounder better stimulates the body’s recovery process, which happens while we sleep.
One more exciting thing about rebounding that I want to share is how it compares to more traditional forms of exercise, such as running. According to a 2016 study, jumping on a min-trampoline is twice as effective at increasing aerobic fitness as running. And, on top of that, it is 50% more effective at fat-burning and more effective at increasing maximal oxygen consumption, too. When it comes to calories, rebounding is faster at burning calories compared to running, swimming, and walking.
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